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Thread: Kitchen Knife Virgins

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    WildBoar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Kitchen Knife Virgins

    Q. After serving up some fantastic charcuterie, great entrees and a host of fabulous desserts, how do you knock 6 normal people on their butts?

    A. You hand them a tray of a dozen or so assorted, well-sharpened j-knives, most sporting beautiful rehandle work and some nice sayas, and you let the people handle them.

    This played out earlier today, at an excellent lunch prepared under the watchful eye of our own Travis K. The diners had never seen or touched many of the knife types (debas, hankotsu, garasuki, etc.) and where stunned and amazed by the blades and the custom handles. And of course a pig sticker was a big hit. I'll keep my fingers crossed that at least one of them is interested enough to get drawn to the slippery slope, where they can keep us all company.

    Thanks, Travis!

    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    wyoming, closer to nowhere than somewhere.
    I love the look people get when they pick up a well made k. knife. I let my mom hold my Globals (I know how you all love them). She had the same reaction I did when I first picked one up. Then I gave her my Tanaka's she was even more impressed. no handle is custom (yet). She seemed like she would use them with her Fibromyalgia lifting heavy things is difficult. So I think she just jumped on the wagon too.

    Love the story and the idea that was implemented here. Great job Travis.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central Jersey
    I let one of my FOH guys slice a few shallots with my 99/1 konoske hd gyuto yesterday under my guidance and supervision. It went like this:

    me: "Hey Kevin, wanna try one of my knives?"

    "REALLY? Are you serious?"

    me: "Sure, check it out. Slice these like this" (demonstrate the pinch grip and push cut), "Now you try"

    (Kevin push cuts the shallot and his face just lights up) "Holy **** man, this thing is like a laser beam! It's like the knife is doing 99% of the work!!"

    me: "It is a laser beam, and it should do most of the work."

    "Holy **** man that's just ridiculous!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member tkern's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Portland, Maine
    David, if any of them want to borrowing one of my knives in exchange for me borrowing one of their Porsches, let me know. Just don't mention its been awhile since I've driven stick.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Rockport, TX
    Few things are better!

    My favorite moment, the one that hooked me on proselytizing about kitchen knives:

    I was pretty new to sharpening and tried to sharpen out some chips in a Dexter Russel cleaver on a 2k stone for a line cook over the break. I didn't finish(duh), and gave it back and said I was sorry. He said "No, tank you, es much bedder". Unable to accept praise for what I know was bad work, I said, "No, it's still broken! Gimme a minute..." *went and got my Tojiro DP* "Here, try this."

    He grabbed a sweet potato slice to cut up, and I stopped him and had him hold it in the air.

    He sliced it in a manner that would surprise nobody in this forum, and both him and the kid standing next to him looked up at me with the blankest looks on their faces, slightly slackjawed and blinking. I could not have asked for a better reaction--not shock, fear, or awe. Just simple confusion, like I was a cashier that did a Vegas level magic trick with your money instead of making change. He didn't react at all.

    I laughed, and grabbed the knife to get back to the bar.

    "Hey..." he reached his hand out to stop me, still expressionless and spoke strangely somberly "...its very sharp, Güey."

  6. #6
    I've "turned" 3-4 fellow co-workers onto j-knives (entry level) and I'm working on a 5th . Many are just working for a paycheck and lack an appetite for all things chef-related such as having one's own tools. I've just let them borrow one of my knives for a hour or so and then they get a bit more interested once they can feel just how easier their prep just became. Even getting the new girl to go get a cheap kiwi from the local asian market felt like a monumental task. Getting them to invest in a stone and flattener is almost impossible .

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